United States — As more pollen allergy sufferers reach for raw honey for relief of their symptoms, many are discovering local beekeeping clubs and associations. The Mohawk Valley Trading Company (where they specialize in raw varietal honey) offers up the names of a few beekeeping associations in East Sandwich, Massachusetts; Colver, Pennsylvania; Ithaca, New York and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“Raw wildflower honey is often used by pollen allergy sufferers to lessen their sensitivity to pollen by eating 1 to 2 teaspoons of it each day,” said Mary Ross of the Mohawk Valley Trading Company where they specialize in raw varietal honey. Varietal honey is made primarily from the nectar of a particular type of blossom or flower. To capture the unique character and flavor of the blossom or flower, beekeepers must study botanical bloom and flowering patterns when planning hive placement.
“The idea is that like a vaccine, by introducing small amounts of pollen into their system a little bit at a time by eating raw honey, a tolerance to pollen allergens is built up.”
“However,” Ross continued, “when buying honey for its health-benefits, it must be raw honey. Heating honey (pasteurization) destroys the all of the pollen, enzymes, propolis, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, and aromatics. Honey that has been heated and filtered is called commercial, liquid or regular honey. Before purchasing, make sure to ask if it is raw honey.”
About Honey Bees
Bees are insects that are related to wasps and ants and there are approximately 20,000 known species of bees found on every continent except Antarctica. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are not native to the United States as they were introduced by Europeans to produce honey and beeswax. Honeybees are responsible for pollinating 80% of flowering crops, and without them the world’s food supply would be dramatically reduced.
As people become more conscious of the important role that honeybees play in their daily lives, beekeeping is becoming more mainstream and is now allowed in many urban and suburban municipalities. Since 2006, beekeepers in the North America and Europe have noticed a mystifying occurrence called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear, leaving the queen and insect larvae behind, unable to fend for themselves. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term colony collapse disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006.
In a 2013, a formal review by the European Food Safety Authority stated that recent studies show that neonicotinoid pesticides, some of the most widely used pesticides in the world, pose an unacceptably high risk to bees, and that the industry-sponsored science upon which regulatory agencies’ claims of safety have relied is flawed and possibly deliberately deceptive.
Honey has been used by humans since ancient times for its health benefits and as a sweetener and flavoring for many foods and beverages, with tea being the most popular. Next to maple syrup, it is the most commonly used natural sweetener in North America.
Honey bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers and regurgitating it into beeswax honeycombs inside their hive. Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the hive of honey bees of the genus Apis and its most popular uses are beeswax candles and as an ingredient in natural skin care products.
The flavor and color of honey is determined by the type of flower the bees gather the nectar from; therefore, when cooking or baking with honey it is a good idea to taste the honey before using it in a recipe. For example: a dark honey like tulip poplar-black locust honey will result in a strong, heavy, pungent flavor, whereas orange blossom honey will result in a delicate orange flavor. Dark-colored honey is considered to be higher in minerals and antioxidants than light-colored honey, and one of the most well-known dark-colored honeys is buckwheat honey. Raw buckwheat honey contains a higher amount of minerals and an antioxidant called polyphenol, which gives it its dark color. The health benefits of buckwheat honey are many and well known.
The rawest honey available is comb honey which is sections of the hexagonal-shaped beeswax cells of the honeycomb that contain raw honey that have been cut from the wooden frames of a beehive.
Using raw honey is a long-term investment strategy for optimal health and personal care; the dividends are overall mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Like a blue chip stock, raw honey should be included in any health-conscious consumer’s immune system boosting portfolio and the return on investment of substituting honey for refined sugar in the human diet is incalculable.
Another product made by honey bees and used by humans is bee propolis; a resinous substance that honey bees collect from tree buds and bark or other botanical sources and mix with beeswax, nectar and pollen. This mixture is used by bees to seal gaps in the hive and by humans for its health benefits and as a traditional, natural or homeopathic medicine.
The Mohawk Valley Trading Company offers the highest-quality unprocessed natural products they can produce, namely maple syrup, honey, beeswax and natural personal care products. In addition, they offer natural stone, tea and spices from around the world.
Hours of operations are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST, seven days a week. Reach them at (315)-519-2640 to learn more.
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